Growing healthy local food: sustainability potential and household participation in home gardens

5th State of Australian Cities Conference (SOAC)
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
State of Australian Cities National Conference (SOAC), 2011, pp. 1 - 11
Issue Date:
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Home gardens exist within millions of private residential outdoor spaces in the cities and suburbs of the world. This paper builds on author's previous research that formulated two models for estimating sustainability potential of home gardens in growing local food in residential neighbourhoods using GIS and ecological footprint methods. This paper, firstly, aims to investigate spatially using GIS, available productive land areas in domestic gardens in a selected residential suburb in Western Sydney at a Collection District (CD) (approximately 225 dwellings) level as defined by Australian Bureau of Statistics. The morphological correlations of productive land to parcel areas, garden sizes and other land covers such as trees, built roof areas etc. are examined spatially to classify specific garden typologies and their associated dwelling structures. Secondly, using a GIS based model, potential quantity of vegetables that could be produced in a neighbourhood is converted into equivalent food energy units. Only vegetable production is considered as it is common and due to limited availability of local food data on home gardens. Finally, a questionnaire survey with the householders will be conducted to comprehend household participation, problems and prospects of growing food in home gardens. This research analyses and integrates potential and peoples' perceptions of growing local food using both quantitative and qualitative methods. The outcomes formulate an integrated sustainability framework and highlight important local scale spatial and land use planning policy implications. Local food production in home gardens could be a possible pathway to achieving improved suburban sustainability and better public health.
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